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Preview: Bear Bluz Art

Bear Bluz Art

My art journey, my bears, my life in bits and pieces...

Updated: 2014-10-06T21:41:19.534-07:00


Big Fat Welcome


Big Fat Welcome
Gina Armfield has a new book and a great giveaway! click the link above to see her blogpost all about it!



Yes!! I've lost my mind and joined the Mermaid Circus! It's the online course with Jane Davenport and Teesha Moore...see the link over there on the right--------> I'm so excited! My fins are all a-flutter!

Fly away


I'm really happy with this one. The lesson was from Tam's Lifebook 2013. Click to see the whole page. 



teesha's circus: intention

Above is a link to Teesha Moore's post about intention and the Power of Attraction and especially how it can relate to your art, or rather how your art can help you relate to your intentions. Teesha is just so fabulous... so smart, so inspiring. I found this post of hers to be very uplifting and a helpful way to help me to make goals. I have struggled with that... sometimes the golals that come to  my head sound very selfish to me and I'd be embarrassed to share them. But I think I can at least make my list privately and see what happens after that.
So go read Teesha's post and then stop by and see her gorgeous journal pages for some great inspiration!

PS... darn I wish I had the money to take her Mermaid class!!!!!

I've been dyeing!!


Hello all, 
This week I taught a fun class at the store I work at. It's a form of Shibori called Itajime. Basically a form of tie dye but with Itajime you use clamps to resist the dyes instead of rubberbands or string ties.
 This one above is just a test but I LOVED it. I used Tim Holtz distress stains to color after folding it. Hey, Tim, what do ye think?
The ones below were done in class and we just used food coloring as our dye! These are mine but the students work was fabulouso!

 I sort of invented my own folding design here. I'm not generally a geometric, straight line kind of person so I folded this one in a very crooked, helter skelter accordian. Fun.

Here are some more smaller test designs. I can see how these can become a beautiful art form with lots of practice. For me, I love the experimental, happy mistakes the best!

post something!


Dear World, I promise to try to post more often on this blog. Signed Me, Artist with Too Much To Do.

Gotta love a good class!


So , again, it's been forever since I've posted, but it is nice to have a blog to go to when the spirit moves me. I'm very delighted to be joining my fav yahoo group, Artists of the Round Table     in a workshop of handmade books. What fun! Though I've made many, many of these little folded books I'm looking forward to the stitched books that we'll be making later. I could definitely use the practice and it's so fun to work alongside the other talented people in the class.   (Tammy, do I see your name signed up? Looking forward to making books with you!)
So stay posted... fun stuff ahead!

well, it's been forever....


I've been feeling a bit guilty for staying away from my blog for so long. Clearly, going back to work has forced me to give up certain things that I enjoyed as you can see since I've not posted since November! It's incredible to have so much of "me" time taken away, can't get used to that.
But all in all I have enjoyed my job very much! It's a very creative store and the management encourages the creative mind wholeheartedly. For example, on my 'to-do' list yesterday was to do a two page art journal spread for a sample journal to display. And to develop a workshop to teach, anything as long as i'm using our products. Next week I will be putting up our window- sock monkey pirates that I designed. How can I complain about that!
Still I am mentally drained trying to get anything done around home, including groceries and dentist appointments for the teen. My dog never gets his walk anymore :-( I can't visit my old dad as often. My house is a mess.

So I was going to try to get to Michael DeMeng's workshop in Pasadena but it's sold out. Or would love to take Kelly Kilmers journal class (any of them, she's wonderful!) but schedules collide so far. Anybody have any suggestions (southern california) ?



(image) I can't believe it's been more than 4 months since I posted here. It's always been difficult to keep up with All Things Internet. It's rewarding, but takes time. And now will be even more difficult because big changes are underway in my life. After being a stay-at -home mom for 14 years I am now back to work 30 hours a week! That, I would say.. is a significant change to the way I use my time each day. And though I love my job and feel so lucky to have landed in a spot where I can be amongst friendly, creative and amazingly talented people and be challenged to be creative myself, AND get paid for it! How lucky is that! But I can't pretend that I don't miss being in charge of my own time, my own schedule, and letting my instincts lead me through my day.
The good thing is that I was worried that I would "lose" my art due to having no time to work. But since my job is all about creativity I still feel the inspiration within me to create. And though these first few weeks I'm still adjusting to the new schedule I know that I will be happy to pick up my art materials and tools and spill creativity out into my world perhaps with renewed inspiration. This is the beginning of the next phase of my life. Time to reinvent myself.... again.. and again.. and again.

Help Bernie! Help the Dogs and Cats!


If you're reading this I'm sure you know of Bernie Berlin. Rescuer of dogs and cats, caretaker and queen of pet love. A new collaboration of mixed media artists work is being auctioned off, the proceeds going to help fund Bernie's rescue efforts. It's jam packed with beautiful artwork and I can't think of a better way to give charitably at this time.
The link to the beautiful book being auctioned on ebay is

To find out more about A Place to Bark visit here:

Bernie works so hard traveling all over the country to rescue dogs from shelters that would have otherwise been put down. Any donation you can give will surely be appreciated.

Thank you Renee Troy for letting me know about this latest auction!

Papa's Garden


(image) My father has a garden that is very dear to me. We've always worked on this little garden together. It's just a tiny plot in his big back yard and has been thru many , many transitions in the 38 years he's lived there. When my mom was alive the back yard was alive with green grass, plants, vines, roses, potted plants. But after she died 10 years ago the house and the garden has settled into a depression of miscare. After she died my sisters and I each planted a rose for her. But with busy lives and distance only one remains. The little plot of dirt nearby layed there, refusing to be ignored, remembering what happiness it represented in the past. When I moved back to California, overwhelmed by the disarray in my mothers absence, the garden was there calling me. The one surviving rose showing the strength that I needed, I knew what I needed to do. I dug out the weeds of the little rectangle and brought over the lumber for a raised bed along with compost and plant food. I brought over tomatoes and artichokes and zuccini and my father and I, side by side, dug and planted and staked up that little plot of dirt. And, lastly, I pruned and fed and welled up that good strong rose, thanking it for remaining as my inspiration.

My father was so happy with his garden, though he did grumble about using water during California's water shortage, but he did take care of it and was so happy to harvest the prolific vegetables produced. After all, he is forever the teacher, me, forever the student in his eyes. I have designed and completed 4 big gardens in my life but I am very happy for him to tell me how to dig up a weed.
This year my father turned 88 years old. The garden, as you see it here, does contain a new tomato plant and possibly an artichoke but when these calendulas took over the raised bed it was them that made my father happy. And so they remain, as unconventional as it might be to have flowers mixed in with your veggies, they will stay and what will grow will grow. Last week my father picked all the roses from that happy rose and we brought them to lay on my mothers grave. Now everyone is happy!
The sign that sits in the little garden plot reads "Papa's Garden". I made it for him when I was just a little girl. I love my father and I'm so glad to bring him this little plot of beauty.

Catching up


(image) I haven't posted for a while but for the two people that ever read this, I'll share my latest. :-) This is a collage with additional pastels, transparencies and charcoal. It was done for a collaboration among 21 artists --an Exquisite Corpse Exchange. ... meaning that all the pieces will be cut in three pieces, head, torso and legs, so the pages can be flipped around exposing different body parts in each section. This collab was arranged by Red Scott who is brilliant at these kind of artistic collaborations. Anyway, I have received wonderful artwork (prints) from the other artists and now I need to make my little book of some sort to house this 'game'.
(image) And here are my constant companions, my sweets. Only missing is Tucker, my golden retriever who is under my table. The kitties are Gypsy, Barker and Benji and they're watching the birds outside.

Beeswax Collage


(image) This is one of my latest pieces, a beeswax collage on canvas board. The images are from Anna Corba. I recently taught a class using this technique and it was a great success! And the studio smelled so wonderful, too! I'll be offering a class in beeswax collage again after the holidays so if you're interested and you live anywhere near Westlake Village in California, please leave me a comment with your email address and I will let you know what the class schedule is.

Pretty Crow


Neat! Look what my Iphone can do! It's amazing what you can do with a camera without really knowing how to use it (well). Anyway, I suppose most people wouldn't call a crow pretty but I think they're kind of magnificent. They're so smart and brave and to watch them fly, especially when they're close to you, it's like having little airplanes flying around you. Oh, this I know because I feed them in the morning and then send them back to their own little world.It started with just a sweet couple and of course they had to go tell all their friends. Now I have some 20 crows waiting for me every morning. They wait, they eat, they go. The whole thing lasts maybe 10 minutes. The noise lasts about one minute! And there are begging stragglers who see that the squirrels seem to get the best food of all , and that it's protected by me. Otherwise the crows would be happy to eat everything. Yes, my mornings are like living in a zoo, (I didn't mention the ducks, did I). But I love all my visitors. It's nice to be important to someone.[...]

New Book, New Bookmark!


(image) Here's my new bookmark for my new book: What The Dickens by Gregory Maguire of "Wicked" fame. I've read less than one chapter and can see I'm going to love it. And these few pages inspired me to begin my bookmark. If you know me, you may know that I make a new bookmark for every book that I read and I make it before I read it. So it's interesting to see how and if my artwork has anything at all to do with the story when I've finished.
Maguire's subtitle is "The Story of a Rogue Toothfairy". And the first few pages have to do with some kids at home who have run out of food due to some kind of world disaster. So on my bookmark I've included a little doll who's fallen, a ticket food for 1 drink, a narwhale (whose long horn is sometimes considered a tooth) and a piece of the word 'museum' incomplete and falling off the page. There's also a tiny dove of peace with an olive branch in his mouth but poor thing has been smeared, totally by accident but , hmmm, lets see how THAT plays out!!!

Wild Wings


(image) Art is everywhere. Even in a sad situation. No, I didn't draw this.... this is the imprint of one of the many sparrows that mistakenly fly into my window. This happens alllllllll the time and don't worry, they nearly always live! I have left the window dirty so they will see that they can't fly through it but there is always one that will still try.
Anyway, look at the beautiful dust print! I will use this in my art somehow so that his misfortune won't go to waste. (this one was fine and flew off alright.)

A journal page


(image) Another journal page. The photos are not the greatest. "She didn't even know what to wish for."
(image) There are so many directions and possibilities in life. Stuff you truly want but might be totally impractical. Wild dreams. Sensible choices. Achievable in theory but not quite attainable. The first step is to decide what you want. But is that really such an easy question?

Friday Friends


(image) Time again for photos of my garden friends. These are my preying mantis. If there can be such a thing as a sweet bug, this is it. This one is guarding my roses, thank you. I love this shot, the fading tunnel effect which my camera knows how to do, not me.
(image) I'm so fascinated with these guys. There are litterally hundreds born each spring but only a handful make it to adulthood. They start out so teeny tiny and here it is September and this one is about 5 inches long and still growing. Occasionally they leave me butterfly wings for my artwork. Nice.
(image) Look at my sweet, honey-dog Tucker. I just love him. He's 6 now. I think sometimes we stop taking photos of our dogs after puppy hood. I definitely have tons of puppy pictures but I don't want to forget my loving dog in his adulthood. Definitely my bestest friend.

More portrait practice


Here's another effort at face painting. She is basically Prismacolor pencil, acrylic paints, acrylic inks, collage, and stamping. OH and modeling paste which is stamped into. I'd love to know what you think!

Sister Day


By god, I think I've started a new tradition! Sister Day. The date: anytime your husband is out of town. The atmosphere: totally casual, comfy clothes, super easy food, but lots of it. No kids, (or at least send them upstairs and forbid them to come down.) This is the holiday I've created for just my sisters and me!Of course, being me, I had to infuse art into the situation somehow so I put them all to work. I brought out my hefty supply of rubber stamps and we made these wonderful banners.My sisters are all very creative in all different ways so I don't think it was a big stretch for them to send a little creative energy to the paper, and, indeed, they created some great artwork! My sister, Cari is a musician and singer of her own band The Black Rose Band. My sister Teresa is a very talented writer and equestrian chic, and also likes to make stuff with polymer clay. And my sister Tomoko makes jewelry, draws, is a superb cook, and all around creative soul. I have one more sister who couldn't make it to Sister Day.There is nothing quite as fun and relaxing as just talking with my girls without worrying about anything else. Eating without guilt for one day, going on garden tours in my backyard. We even stayed up and watched a great sister flick, Practical Magic (Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman).All around a fun day, fun art, and a great retreat from our stressed out lives. I'm sure we will make Sister Day an annual thing, or maybe monthly!! ha. Who knows![...]

Ah,, nice.


(image) Well, it's been hot, hot, hot here in CA this week, near 102F. But we're overdue for the heat since we had some very mild weather the previous two weeks (90's). But right now it's 7:15pm, the sun is just beginning to go down and the weather is just beautiful! It's about 75. I absolutely love it when it's just warm and comfy and cozy like this, can hardly stay in the house at all.
So I'm on my patio , getting ready to watch the next Suziblu video for my workshop and I'm being visited by all kinds of sweet critters. The photo above is my sweet CooCooMa who is really like a puppy, runs up to me to give me kisses and beg. A russet hummingbird just whizzed by and the California towhee is hop, ho, hoppng by unafraid.

(image) The ducks aren't here now, they're morning visitors, but you can see that even they get along with my crows. The crows come for 15 minutes in the morning and that's it. There's one who will follow me when I walk my dog. I must think of a good name for that smart guy.
(image) And these sparrows and doves, titmice, nuthatches, and goldfinches are all regulars. To me there's just nothing better than being trusted by a wild thing. I love my cats and dogs of course, they're family, but it's so nice to spend some time with my outside friends.



(image) These beautiful lovebirds showed up one day 3 weeks ago. They are always together and though I seeked advise and attempted to get them to go in a cage (long story, not that interesting) but they seemed to be pretty wild. They have learned from the other birds to be afraid of all the appropriate stuff and I thought they'd be ok in the wild afterall. They came everyday to my feeders for food and I bought special lovebird food for them, too.
(image) But this week there was only one. And two days ago I stopped hearing him, too. I'd like to think that they just found better food than I had to offer, but I have to acknowledge that this is a popular strike zone by the local hawks, and I did see one just the other day. Sad, they were fun to watch every day.

More Suzi drawings


(image) Here's another one of my drawings from the online class I'm taking with SuziBlu ( Definitely looks better full size and not a thumbnail like this because that butterfly takes over the entire face. So many things I would change and do differently next time,,, but, what can I say, I'm learning.

Bookmarks are fun!


Do you like my bookmark? I usually make a new bookmark for every new book I read. It forces me to work a little faster (cause I'm a real slow poke) and since it's "only a bookmark" I don't intimidate myself right out of finishing it. This one is a lot bigger than most bookmarks, no good reason. It's for The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane"

Sketching with SuziBlu


(image) This is a sketch I did in the first lesson of Suzi's class "The Goddess and the Poet". She is teaching many classes and I highly recommend one! Suzi is an amazing teacher, especially because she doesn't just put up a video and disappear. She's on the discussion boards, she answers emails immediately, I don't know when she sleeps! And she's tough with us,, shaking rulers at us thru the computer screen, " no cheating! You must do your grayscales!" I did mine! And what a really nice bunch of people who are taking the class, very friendly and supportive and fun! Her 'school' is called Les Petit Academy , here's the link: